Monday, December 27, 2010

Missing the Point

Image Credit: Sploid

I found this image today and had to share. My guess is that these were the same people who drove around the parking lot looking for the closest space.

20 Hours Of The Blizzard In 40 Seconds

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Problem with Islamic Fundamentalism are the Fundamentals of Islam

I saw these two videos yesterday on the  atheist media blog and found them both very interesting.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yellow Arrows: Cluster- Right Edge

Paul Booker
Yellow Arrows: Cluster- Right Edge    2010
Ink, Watercolor on Bristol
18" X 14"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dancing With Autechre!

I'll admit it, I am a chin-scratching, techno-dance hating music snob. If the music is strange and impossible to dance to, then I will probably like it.
I love Autechre... Actually, what I love about this video is that it is unclear whether the author's intent is to celebrate or to ridicule the complete undanceability of Autechre's music...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red Arrows: Three Clusters

Paul Booker
Red Arrows: Three Clusters    2010
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins mounted on wall
approx. 60" x 48" x 10"

Red Arrows: Three Clusters- Side View
I installed this at my gallery last weekend. For these pieces that spread across the wall, I have a general idea for the location of the clusters in relation to one another, but the layout of the piece depends mostly upon the architectural space in which the piece is going to be installed. For example, when I created this piece in my studio it was largely horizontal, but here it was adapted for a space that is largely vertical.

Changing Education Paradigms

This video explains much of what I think is wrong with the American educational system today. It has been structured around a nineteenth century Industrial Revolution concept of standardization and memorization. That concept worked in a time when we needed humans to do the work that is now done by machines, but now we need humans to do the work that cannot be done by machines... And that is where creativity and collaboration come into play.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cloud Forms: Pinks and Blues

Paul Booker
Cloudforms:Pinks and Blues    2010
Ink, Watercolor on Paper
22" x 30" 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Instabilities in a Heated Layer

This painting got its name and began from an image in the book, "An Album of Fluid Motion". But the image slightly changed with each new layer of oil enamel and is now mostly unrecognizable from the original photo. The image here is tiny, I would suggest clicking on it to enlarge it.
Paul Booker
Instabilities in a Heated Layer    2010
Ink, Oil Enamel, Polyurethane on Panel
8" x 24"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blue Rectangles: Waveform #2

Paul Booker
Blue Rectangles: Waveform #2  (detail image)  2010  
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Friday, December 3, 2010

Balloon Form #2

This is one of the first pieces I've done on canvas in a decade or so. The pen usually doesn't work on canvas because of the rough texture of it, but I put about five layers of primer on the canvas and sanded it until it was completely smooth.
Paul Booker
Balloon Form #2      2010
Ink, Watercolor on Canvas
19"x 19"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Current: Blue Rectangles on Red

Here is another I just finished from the series called Current. This one also has about eight layers of oil enamel rectangles, which means it has about forty layers of clear polyurethane sandwiched in-between. The lower layers of blue turn green because of the natural slight yellow tint of the polyurethane.
Paul Booker
Current: Blue Rectangles on Red    2010
Ink, Oil Enamel, Polyurethane on Panel
16"x 12"

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

My brain thinks first in images, and then much later in symbols, words and numbers. Recent technology has enabled people to transform statistical data into visual images that are instantly comprehensible, much like a painting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Irreducible Complexity Cut Down to Size

Explaining how complexity can arise through gradual evolution and debunking anti-evolutionist arguments.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Current: Blue Rectangles on Green

I think I am calling this piece done. It is a small piece, but these oil enamel paintings are usually about six months in the making.

I have only used a single color of blue in this painting. It has about eight layers of blue oil enamel on it and there are five layers of clear polyurethane between each layer of oil enamel, which is slightly yellow in tone and is what turns the successive layers of blue oil enamel green. So in total, there are about forty layers of polyurethane on the painting, which floats the top layers of blue about 1/8" inch above the surface of the panel. 
Current: Blue Rectangles on Green     2010
Ink, Oil Enamel, Polyurethane on Panel
8" x 12"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keystone Shapes: Balloon Form

These are two views of a currently unfinished piece.

Keystone Shapes: Balloon Form    (unfinished)
Lexan, Ink, Steel Pins
12"x 12" x 10"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Red Arrows: Tunnel- Bottom Right Corner

I finished this piece a few days ago. I photographed a bunch of things I have around the studio yesterday, both finished and unfinished work. I'll be uploading some things as I get them edited.
Red Arrows: Tunnel- Bottom Right Corner   2010
Watercolor and Ink on Bristol

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Denis Dutton: A Darwinian theory of beauty

  From the author of: The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution
TED collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Keystone Shapes

One from the new series of sculpture.
Keystone Shapes: Tilted Half Dome
Lexan, Ink, Steel pins 
16"x 18"x 12"

Minutemen- Corona Acoustic

I had heard the acoustic version of "History Lesson", but I didn't realize they also did a version of Corona.

Something New

This blog started as an outlet for me to focus on things outside my own artwork, and usually things outside the topic of visual art in general... I guess it stems from the idea of the shoeless cobbler or even the landscaper who has a crappy lawn. We all get tired of looking at what we do all day...
But I think I might start including personal images.  A kind of sketchbook. Some images might be finished pieces, but most won't, other things might be reference photos or detail images of larger works... I think seeing these pieces I've been looking at for dozens (if not hundreds) of hours in a context outside my studio might be interesting and refreshing. We will see how it goes.

Balloon Form
Watercolor and Ink on Paper

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keith Rowe - Prepared Guitar

Keith Rowe of the free-improvisational group AMM since 1966, has done with the guitar what John Cage did with the piano. That is, a complete re-working and re-envisioning of what the traditional instrument is capable of.

Hey Ed, I think this may be Volume 4 of your "Worst Selling Guitar Hero Titles"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lawrence Lessig: The Future of Copyright Law and Creativity

These are two great lectures by Lawrence Lessig, author of Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down and Control Creativity (Penguin 2004).

Lawrence Lessig: Laws That Choke Creativity     filmed March 2007

Lawrence Lessig: Re-examining the Remix     filmed April 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Troxler Effect

Stare at the black cross in the middle of the image.

Notice that the rotating vacant spot will begin to turn green and then the pink dots will begin to fade from view. The green happens because of an effect similar to that of the afterimage seen from a camera flash. When we look at a color for a period of time and then the color is suddenly taken away, our eyes tend to see an afterimage of that color perceived as the color's opposite. In this case, the opposite for pink would be pale green.

But the fading of the pink dots in our peripheral vision is an effect known as the Troxler Effect.
From Wikipedia:
Troxler's fading or Troxler's effect is a phenomenon of visual perception. When one fixates a particular point, after about 20 seconds or so, a stimulus away from the fixation point, in peripheral vision, will fade away and disappear. The effect is enhanced if the stimulus is small, is of low contrast or equiluminant, or is blurred. The effect is enhanced the further the stimulus is away from the fixation point.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Creator's Project: Julius von Bismarck

Technology meets art. Creating an out-of-body experience by placing a camera in a balloon approximately ten feet above your head pointed down at your head transmitting what it records in real time to the small screens in a mask you are wearing... Among other interesting ideas.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Assassination of Dr. Tiller

This was difficult to watch, but I think Rachel Maddow did an excellent job with the hour-long investigation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Susumu Yokota - Fairy Link

The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson

I don't own a television set, so this is how I spend my Saturday evenings. I found this discussion enlightening and very entertaining.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perfectly Gothic Day

I do love a dark and dreary day. We don't get many of those here in Texas... It's usually either sunny and hot or sunny and cold. Today was a perfectly gothic late October day in Texas, complete with tornado sirens this morning, followed by hours of dark clouds and steady rain... The inner goth in me loves these days.

We'll see if we can come up with a few links to set the mood:

Friday, October 22, 2010

More hippie shit...

I've been interested in the idea of barefoot shoes for a while now... I simply must have a pair of these...


I know from experience that skateboarding with long hair can be hazardous because it gets in the way of your line of vision. I had always tied my hair back when skating, although this guy doesn't seem to have a  problem with it at all... I'm impressed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time Lapse Iceland Volcano

Do you remember that volcano in Iceland that was causing havoc for European airlines this summer? This person captured the most beautiful (actually, the only) time lapse film I have ever seen of a volcano in action.

Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull - May 1st and 2nd, 2010 from Sean Stiegemeier on Vimeo.

Music by: Jónsi - Kolniður (

Saturday, October 9, 2010

On creativity

This was a really interesting video on the subject of how the left side of the brain (rational) takes over the right side (visual/creative) as we learn language skills and develop symbolic thinking. I'm not exactly sure what's up with the kooky baseball cap turned sideways... He is obviously a really smart guy.

As a left-handed person, I have always been interested in how the different sides of the brain operate. I am terrible at abstract mathematics, I struggle at remembering even the vocabulary of the English language, much less foreign languages, and I simply do not think symbolically. I am an avid reader, but I read at a snail's pace compared to other people I know... But then drawing from memory, drawing a floorplan from memory, or even drawing in perspective from memory is something that I can do lightning fast and is completely natural for me.

Cai Guo-Qiang - I Want to Believe

In my 3D Design classes, one of the things I have the students do is to create a project using the idea of multiples. I give them a list of artists who use multiples in their artwork and Cai Guo-Qiang is always a favorite among the students. I totally agree. This is a very nice video taken from his show at the Guggenheim in New York. No music... No narrator...Just the art...

My own artwork uses the idea of multiples, but I didn't make the connection between his artwork and my own until I saw the visual similarity between the image in the video and the arrows in my header image...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Richard Dawkins at Protest the Pope Rally in London Sept 2010

I have three heroes... Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, and Richard Dawkins...

Did You Miss Me?

I love obscure covers of obscure songs... Thanks to the detective work of my wife, one of my favorite songs by the Young Gods turns out to be a cover of a song by Gary Glitter... The collision of the two is like an audio train wreck.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Neil Young: Hitchhiker (reprise)

Neil Young always seems to amaze me with his ability to come up with something that I didn't expect... For someone with a five decade songwriting career, the production on this song is something that I might have expected more from My Bloody Valentine. My guess is his producer, Daniel Lanois had something to do with it. But still, I'm overjoyed that Neil Young is still willing to experiment with sound this late in his career.

Here is the My Bloody Valentine song Sometimes from the 1991 album Loveless for a comparison on the distortion of the guitar.

Piano Typewriter

I'll provide no explanation, I just liked the image.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bookshelf Porn

Bookshelf Porn is a great website that I discovered a few months back. It focuses not on books themselves, but instead, on images of bookshelves.

I am a collector by nature, and being a visual artist, I'm very interested in the aesthetic appearance of images and objects as well as the arrangement of those objects in groups. I have to say, I've always been skeptical of the old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover". I might counter that with, "Don't judge a saying by its catchiness". There have been very few great books or records I have owned that have not also had aesthetically beautiful covers.
I have a fairly extensive collection of books, records and CD's... I love the huge amount of information contained within each one of those objects, but I also love the objects themselves. To me, the visual information on the surface of each object is almost as important as the verbal or auditory information contained within the object. This is why I have a bittersweet relationship with the future of media in the digital age. While an e-book contains exactly the same words as its [non-environmentally friendly] hardbound paper cousin, there is a certain amount of craftsmanship and love that went into not only the cover art, but also the choice of paper, the binding, the font... As well as the fact that when you look through your library at the books you've read over the years, you are reminded of how much of an impact that book had on your life at the time and how you have grown since then...

The Damned- Alone Again Or

One of my favorite covers of one of my favorite songs. Originally written in 1967 by a band called Love.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Asa Chang and Junray- Hana

Posting has been light lately. School has started and I've been preparing for the classes I am teaching... Here is an old favorite.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Great Response to Pat Condell's Rant on "Ground Zero" Mosque

I have been a fan of Pat Condell's you tube clips for quite a while. I do like his unapologetic delivery and sharp wit, but when I saw his recent clip on the "Ground Zero Mosque" [Community Center] I was pretty disappointed in his logic and I thought he overstepped on this one.

While am personally disappointed anytime I see a church, a mosque or any other building erected for faithful followers to worship an invisible friend in the sky, I do recognize their right to do so as one of the founding principles of America in the first amendment. It is their right to the freedom of religion as well as my right to the freedom from religion.

Anyway, I thought this person made a great response to Pat Condell's rant on the subject. I'm still a fan of Pat, but he is not exempt from criticism when criticism is due.

Friday, August 20, 2010

No Copyright Law: The Real Reason for Germany's Industrial Expansion?

It is interesting to contrast this article's historic look at the lack of copyright law in 19th century Germany with what is happening today in the digital age. It seems that the absence of (or at least a more relaxed) copyright law actually fuels competition and innovation in industry as well as the interest of the general public.

Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country's industrial might.,1518,710976,00.html

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Remarkable Stop-Motion Walk Across America

I stumbled this today and thought it was worth sharing. A real technical achievement on a shoestring budget. Watch it full screen. Here is a google map that shows the route they took and the locations they filmed.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cristopher Hitchens on Cancer and God

Christopher Hitchens wrote a very moving new article in Vanity Fair about his recent experience with esophageal cancer. Here CNN's Anderson Cooper talks with Hitchens about his experience with cancer and his lack of belief in god.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Judge strikes down Prop. 8, allows gay marriage in California

It looks like reason and civility are supplanting fear, hatred and religious dogma in California. The Proposition 8 dark age is finally coming to an end. Congratulations to my friends there; if only Texas would follow suit.,0,6634127.story

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Engineer's Guide to Cat Yodeling (with Cat Polka)

A video involving two guys annoying their cats into making the annoyed-cat-sound while playing the cat's lungs like a yodeling musical instrument... I know, it sounds stupid and at the core of the argument, it is stupid... But if you've ever owned a cat, you will know that cats are both easily annoyed and incredibly forgiving. And, it's really funny...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Dickies - Banana Splits

Late night music: Dickies cover of a 1970's children's show theme song.

And for those of you who were born after 1980, this is the kids show theme song they were covering.

Stanford's Mobile Phone Orchestra and iPhone Ocarina

Gotta love the fact that they call the ensemble Mo-Pho for short.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oliver Messiaen- 'On Birdsongs'

Oliver Messiaen is one of my favorite 20th century music composers. I had always heard that one of his big influences was the songs of birds...

 These influences of birdsongs are important to keep in mind when you hear his work, for example one of his most famous works, the 'Quartet for the End of Time':

Ant Web

I saw this site yesterday. If you have any interest in ants, they have photographed and documented many of the world's 10,000 known species of ant.

Ants are incredibly diverse. They can be as small as the point of a pin, or as big as a walnut. They can look as sleek as sports cars, or as bulky as tanks. AntWeb illustrates this diversity by providing information and high quality color images of many of the approximately 10,000 known species of ants. AntWeb currently focuses on the species of the Nearctic and Malagasy biogeographic regions, and the ant genera of the world. Over time, the site will grow to describe every species of ant known.

TED Talk: Matt Ridley: When Ideas Have Sex

At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It's not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.

Dad Life

It's been way too long since I posted last, so I will post some of the more interesting things I've seen in the last week. This one is hilarious. It's a mock gangster rap video called 'Dad Life'.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rodney Mullen Defying the Physical Laws of Gravity

Since I was a kid, the skateboarder, Rodney Mullen has existed in a category completely unto his own... It's great to see him still at it...Technically, there is no one who even comes close...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stephen Fry: The Importance of Unbelief

I posted an interview with Stephen Fry just a few weeks ago and I was really impressed by how well articulated and thoughtful his responses were. I think this interview is even better.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU

Wow! I saw this today and was amazed to see that they had outdone themselves. Their animated video called MUTO from a few years ago was great, but this one is even more mindblowing. Check out the website to see more.

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Monday, July 5, 2010

RSA Animate - The Secret Powers of Time

Axis of Awesome - 4 Four Chord Song

This is funny as hell and really well done. The perfect ironic example of why I find most pop music mind-numbing and irritating all at the same time. They put together single lines taken from dozens of pop songs set to the exact same chord progression. I recognized maybe half of the songs they used, which says something about how much attention I pay to mainstream media...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

BP Slick Covers Dolphins and Whales

This is the most disturbing thing I've seen from the oil spill yet.
 John Wathan, the person who took the footage and narrated the video had a few words to say here:
This was the most emotionally disturbing video I have ever done!
A flight over the BP Slick Source where I saw at least 100 Dolphins in the oil, some dying. I also photographed a Sperm Whale covered in oil all around it's blow hole.
Please spread this around the world. Send me any links to places it gets posted so I can follow.
I want to piss off the world. Who will answer for these gentle creatures?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Multimedia Designer and Architect- Muti Randolph

It's often difficult to tell what you're looking at when you see this person's work. He works with lighting, architecture and projected imagery to create very strange spaces.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Battles - Tonto (from the album Mirrored)

Late night music... Battles - Tonto...
I hadn't realized how much I missed gritty avant garde rock with split second timing until I first heard this album last year... I know that a new band is doing something right when their sound completely eludes a pigeonhole... because I'm not doing them justice with my description... I was amazed by this video... Just listen and maybe you can do better...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drinks With Christopher Hitchens

I found this conversation entirely entertaining.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thomas Kinkade arrested for DUI

Bankruptcy, fraud and now a DUI...?? The "Painter of Light" has fallen to new lows. Will his adoring baptist teetotaler fans ever forgive him? I certainly hope not... In fact, they themselves shouldn't be forgiven for purchasing his badly painted nostalgic yearning for a warm, glowing past that never was...

But then again, if you look at his vomit inducing faith based website, he WAS a really good salesman... Even if it was snake oil...
Here is his arrest photo:

From the Orange County Register:
Thomas Kinkade, the self-described "Painter of Light," was arrested Friday night outside of Carmel on suspicion of drunk driving.
According to police reports and the Monterey Herald, Kinkade, 52, was stopped by a sheriff's deputy shortly after 9 p.m. because his 2006 Mercedes-Benz didn't have a front license plate. The deputy detected the smell of alcohol, and requested the assistance of a California Highway Patrol officer.
The CHP officer arrived and gave Kinkade a field sobriety test, CHP spokesman Robert Lehman said. During the test, Kinkade, a Carmel resident, "displayed signs of impairment to the officer," Lehman said.
Kinkade was arrested, then taken to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, where his blood was taken to determine his blood alcohol content. He was booked into Monterey County Jail and released Saturday after posting bail.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Obesity linked to brain shrinkage and dementia

I follow the blog called Neurophilosophy, which usually updates with a new article every week. The sparse posting is well worth the wait because the articles are always incredibly enlightening, well researched and written so that a novice such as myself can easily understand them. The author describes themself as a "molecular and developmental neurobiologist turned science writer".

I found this week's post particularly interesting. The entire article can be found here:
THE dangers of obesity are very well known. Being overweight is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the Western world. Gout is more common in overweight people, with the risk of developing the condition increasing in parallel with body weight. Obese people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who are not overweight, and being overweight is also associated with several types of cancer. The list goes on...
Less well known is the effect of obesity on the brain. In the past few years, however, it has emerged that being overweight in middle age is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. Two new studies strengthen this association: the first, just published in the Annals of Neurology, shows that abdominal fat is linked to reduced brain volume in otherwise healthy middle-aged adults. The second, published last month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this reduction is associated with a common variant of an obesity-related gene.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Guerrilla protest art at its best... Two graffiti artists transform a tunnel entrance in Atlanta into a billboard for a not-so-subtle message about their views on BP's handling of the oil spill...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bigfoot Sighting in North Carolina

Bigfoot sightings have always been lots of fun for me. As a kid, the bigfoot myth captivated my imagination far more than UFO's or the Lochness Monster. I think it was mainly because I spent lots of time walking through the woods at my granparents' farm in rural Oklahoma.
The guy who spotted him is the most amusing thing about the video.

Tim Peeler of Cleveland County, North Carolina called police after encountering Bigfoot outside his mountain home. Apparently, this particular Bigfoot was 10-feet-tall, had "beautiful (blonde) hair," and six fingers on each hand. Peeler told the Charlotte Observer that he "rough-talked him" and scared him off.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Interactive swarm software

Most of the text from this interactive application is it Japanese, so I have no idea what it is saying. I do know that it is amazingly hypnotic to watch. I've taken quite a few screenshots of it and I'll bet that at least a few of these random compositions will make their way into my paintings...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Catholic Church fixer tells of his role in covering up clerical sex abuse

Why on earth is this not getting more press coverage? This man is speaking from the inside of the catholic church about his role, quite actually his job, of systematically covering up the abuse of young children. His former job is what is known as a "fixer".
From the Freethinker:

Describing himself as a “company man” – a “soldier” who had to protect the institution of the Church above all else – the Minnesota monk said he would be parachuted into a parish in the aftermath of allegations of sexual abuse. His job was to right the situation. And quickly, he became adept at making scandals go away.
 Audio of the interview is available here.

Stephen Fry: What I Wish I'd Known When I Was 18

I thought this was a really thought provoking interview worth sharing. I found myself at least a few times thinking, "Yeah, that's some advice I should be listening to even now."
STEPHEN FRY: WHAT I WISH I'D KNOWN WHEN I WAS 18 from Peter Samuelson on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

1908 - Émile Cohl: Fantasmagorie

From Wikipedia:
Cohl made "Fantasmagorie" from February to May or June 1908. This is considered the first fully animated film ever made. It was made up of 700 drawings, each of which was double-exposed, leading to a running time of almost two minutes. Despite the short running time, the piece was packed with material devised in a "stream of consciousness" style. It borrowed from Blackton in using a "chalk-line effect" (filming black lines on white paper, then reversing the negative to make it look like white chalk on a black chalkboard), having the main character drawn by the artist's hand on camera, and the main characters of a clown and a gentleman (this taken from Blackton's "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces"). The film, in all of its wild transformations, is a direct tribute to the by-then forgotten Incoherent movement. The title is a reference to the "fantasmograph", a mid-Nineteenth Century variant of the magic lantern that projected ghostly images that floated across the walls.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Titan: Nasa scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'

Scientists have speculated that extra-terrestrial organisms might consume methane the way most life here on earth consumes oxygen or carbon dioxide. This might be the first evidence of that... If it turns out to be true, it will have gigantic implications into the range of possibilities for life in the universe and would imply that life is far more common than we once thought.

From the :
Researchers at the space agency believe they have discovered vital clues that appeared to indicate that primitive aliens could be living on the planet.
Data from Nasa's Cassini probe has analysed the complex chemistry on the surface of Titan, which experts say is the only moon around the planet to have a dense atmosphere. They have discovered that life forms have been breathing in the planet’s atmosphere and also feeding on its surface’s fuel.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WIRE: Heartbeat (1979)

Wire was every bit as seminal to punk rock as the Sex Pistols, although not nearly as well publicized. Bands as wide ranging as Minor Threat, Fisherspooner and REM have covered their songs. This particular song was covered by Big Black, although the Wire version will always be my favorite. It begins with a whisper and builds energy to the verge of aggression, but then just at the point you are expecting more, it pulls back into a whisper.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Douglas Adams: Parrots the Universe and Everything

I saw this on the Pharyngula blog today. This may well be one of the best lectures I have ever seen.

BP Advertisement from 1999

Gotta love the irony.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Donald Judd's Personal Library

There is always something a little voyeuristic about looking through someone's personal library. You can tell a lot about the person just by the books they choose to own. I was interested to see that the minimalist sculptor, Donald Judd, whose own artwork is so exact and austere would have such a wide variety of interests in books.

The Donald Judd Foundation has meticulously photographed the artist's entire personal library, shelf-by-shelf exactly as he left it when he died in 1994. On the foundation's website you can peruse each of the shelves, and if you mouse-over the books, it gives you the title, author, publisher and date of  each and every book in the library.
Here is the link to the webpage.

Friday, May 28, 2010


These videos of natural organisms are beautiful beyond words. From Synaptic Stimuli.

'Corynactis viridis' from MORPHOLOGIC on Vimeo.

'Oyster Vision' from MORPHOLOGIC on Vimeo.

'Preener' from MORPHOLOGIC on Vimeo.
'Cleaner' Pt. 2 from MORPHOLOGIC on Vimeo.

Los Angeles Time Lapse Photography

Beautiful time lapse photography of roadways around Los Angeles, but something is conspicuously missing... I suppose this is what L.A. would look like if there were no cars or people. I also assume this took quite a bit of time in the editing process.

Running on Empty from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Johanna Blakely: Lessons from fashion's free culture

A great TED talk on the absurdity of copyright law in the digital age using the copyright-free fashion industry as a model.

TEDtalksDirector May 25, 2010 Copyright law's grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Late Night Music with Supersilent

Since nobody is watching this anyway, I thought I would post one of my favorite bands that nobody likes.
I am a big fan of Supersilent. I think the band would be best described as an improvisational free jazz band who incorporates the analog sounds of obscure 1970's science fiction/ art film soundtracks.
This is the beginning segment of Supersilent 7 .

Albums by Supersilent usually begin fairly quiet, but build and then lull and build into a riotous cacophony taking the audience on a roller-coaster ride.
Here is the fourth track from their 7th album, creatively named 7.4
Supersilent - 7.4 from boyrobot on Vimeo.
From Wikipedia:
Supersilent was formed when the free jazz trio Veslefrekk (Arve Henriksen on trumpet, keyboardist Ståle Storløkken, and Jarle Vespestad on drums) played a concert with producer, live electronics artist and self-described "audio virus" Helge Sten (a.k.a. Deathprod).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rewriting History: "a Christian land governed by Christian principles"

The Texas State Board of Education would simply be misinformed, superstitious, comical backwards boneheads if they weren't the ones deciding what goes into the textbooks of 5 million children for at least the next ten years. But as it is they are infuriating and scary... They must have slept through government and history class themselves because they seem to think our founders wanted America to be founded as a christian nation. That would be false, but here are two things that our founders did agree upon: 
First Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,"
 The Treaty of Tripoli
Art. 11. "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,"

TXFreedomNetwork May 21, 2010Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar opens debate on new social studies standards with a politically divisive prayer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TED Talk: Can we eat to starve cancer?

This TED talk was amazing. It is a view on cancer and obesity prevention that I had never heard of. It involves reducing the growth of new capillaries that feed the blood supply to cancer cells or fat cells so that they never grow in the first place. It turns out that certain foods are much better at inhibiting the growth of new capillaries than others.

William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game. William Li heads the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit that is re-conceptualizing global disease fighting.